Saturday, September 30, 2006

Tourism economics / Local newspapers / Pollensa Council / Alcúdia Fair

Jaume Matas. Haven’t given him much of a mention here despite his being the leader of the Balearics Government. The other day he made his pitch during the annual state of the Balearics debate in the local parliament. During this he congratulated himself and his government on restoring tourism as the driving force of the Balearic economy. Well, good for him. The figures do indicate that tourism is once more buoyant, and it’s true that the government is quite proactive in getting its message out, but we come back - as ever - to the nature of that tourism, and the degree to which it is bolstered by the all-inclusive with its attendant problems.

I have had cause here to point to some of the oddities of local publications, notably those in English. This is the front-page headline of the current “Euro Weekly” - “Clean Up Or Clear Out”. All very striking. What’s the story? Well it’s about dogs fouling pavements, especially the one at the back of the beach in Puerto Alcúdia. Fine, except that the whole “big story” is based on one lady and her family’s experience. Not even someone well-known, just a regular, ordinary tourist. From this, the paper conjures up a front-page story. Staggering.

Apparently Pollensa town council had a budget deficit for 2005 of some 800,000 euros. Maybe that’s why they can’t afford someone to get the typing right on its Wonder what that - and all the Ç branding stuff - has cost?

Alcúdia Fair is taking place this weekend. It is a popular but curious thing - part agricultural and trade fair, part traditional Mallorcan fiesta, with oddball stuff such as a slot-car championship thrown into the mix together with late-night music events. Despite this diversity, or perhaps because of it, it is one of the best of the local events as so much is packed into a short period of time, rather than rambling on as do some of the main fiestas. A personal nomination would place the Alcúdia Fair alongside the Pollensa Patrona as the two stand-out events of the year.

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